If you’ve ever taken one of my yoga classes, you already know that I’m a huge fan of meditation. I include at least 5 minutes of it in every class I teach, mostly super simple ones that focus on the simple act of breathing.
So many of us don’t realize how bad we are at breathing — using shallow chest breaths instead of accessing the larger and more powerful diaphragm muscle to take larger and more intentional breaths. These belly breaths are key for healthy nervous system function & stress management.
Meditation and breath work are currently the biggest part of my personal yoga practice. The yoga poses are great but mostly what I really need is to clear my mind and reset my central nervous system from all the training stress (and life stress). After all there are 8 limbs of yoga and the poses are only 1 of those limbs — breath and meditation are some of the others.
But just like many of my students (and perhaps even you) I don’t always find it easy to set aside the time I need every day to meditate and breathe. So for this week’s installment of Fave Things Friday, I’m sharing the thing that has made all the difference for me in helping me get meditation into my crazy schedule every single day — the Headspace app.
The meditations on this app are so simple — breath, body scans, and some easy visualization work — making it accessible to everyone. No prior meditation experience is necessary.
The meditations are broken down by focus and you can get single sessions or 10-session packs for things like Managing Anxiety, Sleep, Productivity, Focus, Injury Rehab, Competition, and (my current personal favorite) Sport Training. There is also a new stand-alone meditation posted daily on varying topics that’s always a nice surprise.
The app has meditations that are anywhere from 1-20 minutes long and it tracks your current streak which is super cool for accountability — I mean, as that number gets higher, you’re way less likely to skip it. Some days I only have a few minutes but it really does help to stop and take those minutes for myself.
Last weekend while traveling, I got a chance to test the Sleep meditation out on my friend Sam who is notoriously bad at falling asleep. No lie, 3 minutes after the meditation ended, she was fast asleep. Worked like a charm even in a hotel room.
There is a free version but I use it enough to easily justify the $12.99 subscription fee. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.
Do you use a meditation app?